ana macarthur
Passive solar building



1992 - 1997
Co-designed and contracted a Passive Solar house/ art studio, located in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Consulted with many of New Mexico's Solar pioneers/ inventors (Steve Baer, Bill Yanda, Mark Challom).
In this very sunny southwest climate solar architecture works beautifully. The house was faced slightly
to the east for better morning solar gain, less solar gain into house at hotter late afternoon time.
The long axis of the building faced south for maximum solar gain. The roof was designed to eventually
accept photo-voltaic panels.  



     

The focal point of this passive solar design was the trombe wall, composed with vents which also became
light openings. The trombe wall is placed on the south side of the architecture, is two courses thick of adobe
for storing infrared energy that hits it,  and is painted black for maximum heat gain. In the cold months the angle
of sun hits the wall and heats its double thickness. At night the heat from wall radiates into interior space.
 In the summer hot months a small roof overhang prevents the sun from heating the  trombe wall, due to the sun's
higher angle in the sky at that time of year. The unique surface design was to give the wall an aesthetic look,
avoid the classic depressing solid black wall, and was done so by imprinting a relief into the plastered wall
inspired by the idea of a 'light' wavefront radiating outward from a center.





In the interior, the studio space stayed cooler in the summer having most of the south side windows blocked
with trombe wall. In the winter the space was heated with the trombe wall. An additional long skylight added
better daylighting, and was closable with shutters, if the infrared gain became too great/ hot. 
Special attention was given to the lighting design and poetry of daylighting.